15:20 UPDATE: BBC apologises for ‘too stark’headline…
The Have Your Say section of the BBC website asked the question yesterday: “Should homosexuals face execution?”
The pre-moderated discussion board for the BBC World Service intended to spark a debate ahead of the Ugandan parliament’s discussion of a Bill tomorrow.
“Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question, but this is the reality behind an anti-homosexuality bill being debated on Friday by the Ugandan parliament which would see some homosexual offences punishable by death,” the post said.
The talkboard post asked users to send in their views to the programme, which goes out on the World Service and is also available online.
“Has Uganda gone too far? Should there be any level of legislation against homosexuality? Should homosexuals be protected by legislation as they are in South Africa? What would be the consequences of this bill to you? How will homosexual ‘offences’ be monitored?,” the post added.
Receiving the fourth most ‘reccomendations’ Aaron P., Freetown wrote: “Bravo to the Ugandians for this wise decision, a bright step in eliminating this menace from your society.”
After an outcry yesterday the heading was later revised by the BBC to ask: “Should Uganda debate gay execution?” (the Guardian link below contains a screengrab of the original headline). The discussion board was then closed after over 150 people commented.
Talking to the Guardian, Lilane Landor, the BBC World Service acting head of Africa region, admitted the question was blunt. “We wanted to frame the question starkly, in order to reflect the stark reality of the Ugandan bill.”